Nik Smiling

Nikola Zoricic, a talented young racer and a member of the Canadian Ski Cross Team sadly passed away in a sudden, tragic accident in Switzerland on March 10, 2012.

Nik’s parents immigrated to Canada when Nik was five and he continued skiing in Canada at Craigleith Ski Club in Collingwood where his father Bebe worked as a coach. Being the newcomers to Canada, the family often had to make financial choices and Nik’s ski development years were marked with Bebe working two jobs, the family applying for a few sport bursaries and Nik benefiting from equipment sponsors such as Atomic and Uvex.

Nik had the outstanding passion and dedication for the sport that he loved and he spent numerous hours with young athletes, helping them with advice and feedback. He often used to say that more athletes should get a chance to live their dream, that too many burdens present themselves on an athlete’s path to success, being they injuries or simply a lack of access to quality and safe training, and adequate developmental opportunities. Often athletes would be lost in these challenges and could benefit from a third party’s help or perspective.

Nik considered himself lucky and wanted to help replicate what he had for others. He would often simply grab a kid on the hill or in the lodge and ski with him or her for a few runs, sharing his insights. He would take a group of skiers and get them down a course showing them the tricky parts and offer advice.

Nik was called by different names. Some refer to him as a Grandson, a son, a brother, a best friend, a Gentle Giant, Zorro, or the guy who raced in Blue jeans! At 6’3 200lbs, (or 210lbs as Nik would tell you), he was the support shoulder to lean on. And many did! Now, his shoulder is gone, but the NZ Foundation will continue giving and sharing on Nik’s behalf with those that share the passion and the dedication he had.

Let’s get more athletes on podiums with support of NZ!

Nik’s Resume

Nik was a passionate tennis player and at the tender age of 12 won the All Canadian U12 Tennis Competition. His elite skill levels forced him to make a choice to focus his energies on one sport.

Downhill skiing won and his domination on the hill soon became evident.

Nik Skiing

Career Highlights

  • As a Downhill Alpine Ski Racer, Nik’s best discipline was slalom. At the age of 15, he was ranked the best in the world.
    • Alpine skiers are ranked internationally through the FIS points system. Nik continued to be ranked one of the top ten slalom FIS points holder in the world, finishing 59 FIS races with nine wins and 22 podium finishes.
    • He finished 26 FIS Giant Slalom races in the top 10, of which six were podium finishes and one resulted in a gold medal.
    • Nik finished five FIS Super G races in the top 10 of which one resulted in a podium finish.
  • In January 2011, Nik captured his first Ski Cross World Cup podium with a second-place finish in St. Johann, Austria
  • Nik completed the 2010-11 Ski Cross World Cup season ranked fifth in the world after finishing in the top 10 six times
  • In January 2012, Nik was on the podium once again after a third-place finish at the Ski Cross World Cup in Les Contamines, France

Nik also studied Economics at the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto in his spare time.

this is nik

Nik with Kids on Podium

Nik wasn’t just an all-star athlete; he was a brother, a mentor, a supporter, and a friend.

Nik’s favorite athletes were Rafael Nadal, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Lance Armstrong.

  • Athletes exemplify effort, grit, determination, and defy limits.

Nik’s Favourites:


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